Saturday, May 10, 2014

Before the storm

With a storm coming tonight Green Mountain will probably be turning white.  The micro-climate we have up here always amazes me.  It may be raining at 6th and Union, but it'll be snowing a couple hundred feet up the mountain.  Since they're calling for 9" of snow I tried to beat the afternoon showers and am amazed at how many flowers have come out in the last week.  

The first of the Penstemons, Blue Mist Penstemon, is blooming in a few places and Lupine are blooming on the lower parts of the mountain.  There were even a few Hens-and-Chickens cactus (or choose your own favorite name) with their yellow blooms.  
Hens and Chickens Cactus (Echinocereus viridiflorus)

One flower that I always associate with higher altitudes is Pussytoes.  I'd seen some dead blossoms a couple times in one small area on the east-facing valley above the water tank at the end of Exposition Drive.  This year the Pussytoes cover big patches of the south side near the top of the valley.  Last week I saw another unusual bloom in the same area, Northern Rockjasmine.  It's pretty small and the iPhone photos don't do it justice!
Northern Rockjasmine (Androsace septrionalis)

Pussytoes (Antennaria rosea)

There are several spots on the mountain that have exposure that's just different enough to get a few unusual blooms.  I like see ing the hillsides covered with Golden Banner, but it's finding these unusual guys that really makes my day!

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